Friday, February 10, 2012

Marinara Sauce {Vegan, Slow Cooker}

Spaghetti sauce is one of the primary staples in our house, so finding a recipe that the kids and adults will all love is crucial for our Get Real journey. While we've made Bolognese and various pasta sauces on a pretty regular basis, we still seemed to always have a jar of marinara sauce around for quick meals. I'm so excited about the possibility of eliminating that sauce from our pantry staples. Marinara is really easy to make and can be made in big batches and divided into meal-sized portions, so it's about time we take the leap.

For my first marinara sauce attempt, I'm trying Kelly's from and I made only minor adjustments to the spices. I also added a roughly chopped carrot to the cooking process. Allowing a carrot to soak up the acids from the tomatoes during cooking and then removing it from the sauce before blending creates a sweeter sauce without the need for sweetener.

Marinara Sauce
Adapted from Marinara Sauce a la Seaton.
Ingredients for about 8 cups of sauce
  • 7 cups diced tomatoes and juice (4 14.5 ounce cans)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, dried
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, dried
  • 1 tablespoon basil, dried
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8 hours. (The original recipe says to cook uncovered, but I forgot this part and cooked it covered; uncovered would obviously be less liquidy, so choose based on your desired consistency.) When cooking is complete, remove carrot and bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to blend sauce completely (or remove and blend in batches).

Divide among pint freezer bags and freeze in portion sizes, if desired.

The Results
Oh my goodness, I am in love with this sauce. The kids found it a little spicy, so we'll cut down to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes next time for them, but 1 teaspoon was the perfect amount for the adults. Even with my goof of leaving the slow cooker covered, the sauce turned out a great somewhat thick consistency and the flavor was fantastic. The meat-eating husband loved it, too.

This post shared at Gallery of Favorites, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays and I'm Lovin' It.


  1. This is such a great recipe to have on hand, and I love that you can make it in the slow cooker. Homemade marinara sauce is so much better for you than store bought, and I know it tastes better too! Thank you for sharing this post with the Gallery of Favorites.

  2. What a great, easy recipe! Thanks.
    Pinning it :-)
    (here from Frugal Friday)

  3. I'm going to give this a try! But I would put the cover half-on to avoid splattering. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I have never made marinara sauce in the slow cooker, but I think it is a great idea! Thanks for sharing this withthe Gallery.